Many of our patients come to us because of a Below the Knee Amputation (BKA). BKA is one of the most common types of amputations, and while it can certainly be discouraging (even heartbreaking) to lose part of your leg, we take pride in helping our patients go on to live full lives.
For many, the amputation and prosthetic foot can even improve his or her quality of life, saving them from the pain they endured before their operation.
Even after a knee amputation, however, Georgia Prosthetics meets patients who still experience shin pain. Typically this comes in the form of phantom limb pain or as a result of a prosthetic that doesn’t fit properly.
Phantom limb pain
Pain that is felt where the amputated limb once existed is called phantom limb pain. Even though your shin and foot are no longer there, the nerves can still send signals to the brain. Your brain can interpret these signals as stinging, pain, heat, and other sensations.
The cause of these phantom sensations is somewhat controversial, but fortunately, they typically fade over a period of six months. We also know several techniques to help reduce phantom pain:
- Wrapping the stump
- Gentle manipulation (massaging) the stump
- Applying heat
- Wearing a properly fitted prosthetic device
While you can easily practice some of those techniques in your home, we highly recommend you come and visit us so we can help by providing a high-functioning, pain-free foot prosthesis.
Since a significant amount of body weight will go onto your prosthetic foot, it is important to have it fit right. If your leg doesn’t fit properly into the socket, then it can cause extra skin pressure (and even frictional skin loss), skin ulcers, discomfort in the muscles, knee pain, and so on.
As your amputation heals, small changes can occur where the limb connects to the prosthetic. Then, once a prosthetic is applied, more changes can occur. For instance, you might develop a callus. Each small change can throw your body out of balance and have a big impact on your comfort levels.
Fortunately, we know several tests to identify the cause of discomfort and have years of experience with fitting prosthetic feet. Our team will work to solve any pain you might experience, from 20-year-old fittings to brand new ones, we’ll make sure you enjoy a foot prosthetic that provides your life with more freedom, not more pain.
It can be a scary thing to discover that a Below the Knee amputation is your only option. But this doesn’t mean the end of your life, and it doesn’t need to ruin the quality of your life either.
Contact us today at Georgia Prosthetics. We will support you by providing a prosthesis that is pain-free and can enable you to enjoy an active lifestyle.